Word of the Week

Word of the Week: Dark

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When is the last time you took a walk outside of the city limits at night? Do you remember what you saw?

In my hemisphere of the world right now, the days are getting shorter and the night is coming sooner. It's now dark outside before I can sit down to eat dinner and I know it is there are many weeks to go of more of the same. (Makes me miss the carefree days of summer!)

Such is our word of the week dark: a space with light or no light.

I’m a city girl. But the last time I visited my mother-in-law's house in a rural part of my state, I can remember being in awe of the dark of the night. It was so dark, I could see the stars shinning through. It took my breath away to stop and behold the glory of the night sky of God’s creation.

That dark night opened up new possibilities for light that I would otherwise miss!

You see, when things are dark-- it's not that you don't see anything, you just see things differently.

Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor in her book, Learning to Walk in the Dark (one of my favorites by the way) writes this: “To be a human is to live by sunlight and moonlight, with anxiety and delight, admitting limits and transcending them, falling down and rising up. To want a life with only half of these things is to want half a life.”

This morning, I want to tell you that if you find your life without a lot of light, it's ok. It's ok if life feels more confusing than settled. It's ok if you feel anxious about some upcoming changes that will challenges you.

Don’t run from the discomfort of the dark. Stay there.

Darkness will bring you wholeness as you move through it. Your body, your mind, your soul has something to learn. Or as poet Mary Oliver has said, "Someone I love once gave me a box of darkness. It took me years to understand that this was a gift too."

You might not see the full picture today. You might not see it tomorrow. You may want to swear at the heavens right now and say, "God, what are you doing with me?" but regardless of your discomfort, just keep going.

There is something you are learning now that you can only learn in the dark.